The Resumé is Dead, Long Live the Resumé

resume is dead
This ‘new-age’ resumé will be a more comprehensive ‘report card - cum - capability chart’ which will aid better candidates to career mapping.

Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with having been the first one to create a resumé (circa 1480 AD), submitted in the form of a letter to a prospective employer.

Since then, a resumé document has served as a gatekeeper to gainful employment.

It would be incomprehensible for anyone to imagine initiating a job search without creating this magnificent document detailing one’s qualifications, achievements, recognitions and personal aspirations.

But, in the world that’s emerging, will a resumé continue to hold the pedestal position it enjoys today? I would bet, not. And I am saying this because of the below, which I see as serious shortcomings in the entire concept.

  1. Resumés are not forward-looking– A resumé, by design, looks back at the past. Is past performance, a reasonably good indicator of the future? As ‘Mutual Fund’ disclaimers rightly put it – this may or may not be the case. This begs the question –will the Resumé subsist as a basic, initial screening tool?
  2. Resumés are one-sided – Drafted immodestly by the owner, the Resumé only presents the candidate’s inputs, which as one can expect, will not present a balanced view. A show of hands please, for those, who detailed their ‘failures’ in their resumé!
  3. Resumés are uni-dimensional – A resumé provides an insight into those attributes that are considered essential or desirable for a career/ job opportunity. But, a man (or woman), as they say, is a complex animal – an amalgamation of behaviors, emotions, knowledge, skills and attitude, desires, and much more.
  4. Resumés are non-standardized – As a recruitment professional, I am continued to be amazed by the variety of resumés that I have had the fortune of perusing through. While I laud the creativity of many of the candidates, what is indeed challenging is comparing candidates whose resumés differ in form.
  5. Resumés are often artificially managed– Thanks to a plethora of creative resumé writing services, one is only a few hundred rupees away from getting a highly embellished resumé (much like this sentence)! A resumé polished through such a machine may not accurately depict the personality/ quality of the person it purports to represent.

One could argue that the Resumé has survived over a few centuries and will continue to do so. But, there is a huge probability that this will not happen because technology backed by AI and Machine Learning has made tremendous improvement in recent times.

After the creation of a customer profile and some initial transactions made by the customer, an e-commerce site can create a fairly accurate customer profile. The automated AI-driven engine can then start making tailored recommendations designed to entice the customer to make the next purchase. (We’ve all already experienced this in some form).

This same customer interacts with several other businesses – cab aggregators, food delivery outfits, health and fitness planners, career sites and many more. And this is only likely to increase as more of our lives move online. As we move deeper into the gig economy, we will be getting more and more entrenched in digital learning platforms, work groups and collaborative forums.

Imagine the digital map of your personality that now becomes feasible thanks to the data trail you leave in your wake. This digital avatar will no longer be what you want others to see; in fact, it may tend to be more of what others perceive of you.

This ‘new-age’ resumé will be a more comprehensive ‘report card – cum – capability chart’ which will aid better candidates to career mapping.


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